Smiley: The Springfield Saints

With football season looming ever nearer, here’s a “devoted fans” story from Lum Ellis, of New Orleans:

“In Springfield, Illinois, Breeson, a beautiful girl, was born to rabid Saints fans Jeremy and Kristen Logue.

“Named for Drew Brees and Steve Gleason, Breeson will be comfortable in a house decorated with black and gold.

“The parents never lived in New Orleans. They are just dedicated Saints supporters.”

Home of inaction

Alex Chapman, of Ville Platte, says, “I recently used the old term, ‘harder than an Act of Congress,’ to which my kids replied, ‘What’s that?’ ”

Initial reaction

Speaking of contemporary children:

Bertha Hinojosa was explaining different methods for finding directions on the ground to her prekindergarten class at LaSalle Elementary.

For instance, if you face the rising sun, north will be on your left side and south will be on your right.

She also showed them a simple way to find the North Star by following the outer two stars of the Big Dipper.

Afterward, one of the youngsters yelled, “Your way of finding directions is too much work. Why don’t you just use a GPS?”

The Louisiana connection

DeeDee DiBenedetto terms it “one of the most exciting finds I’ve ever had the pleasure to be part of.”

She’s referring to her work at Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia (site of the Saints training camp), helping find the grave site of Louisiana Gov. T.B. Robertson with Greenbrier historian Dr. Robert Conte and Martin Gauthier, of La-Cemeteries.com.

Martin adds, “Our third governor, Thomas Bolling Robertson, who served from 1820 to 1824, is buried in a small cemetery in a wooded area of the Greenbrier Resort.

“Gov. Robertson was born in Virginia, graduated from William & Mary as an attorney, served as attorney general of the Territory of Louisiana, and had a very interesting and storied career before his early death at age 49 in 1828.

“He was visiting White Sulphur Springs to enjoy the healing benefits of the spring water.

“Books and movies could be made of his exciting but short life. Yet he remains unknown, buried not at home nor in his adopted state, but in the woods of the Greenbrier Resort.”

Lucky riders

I’m winding up our seminar on hitchhiking for two tales of fortunate hitchers:

Ron Gomez, of Lafayette, says, “In 1963, I was stationed at Graham Air Force Base in Marietta, Florida.

“I had a 48-hour leave in early December, and 25 cents to my name that Saturday morning as I decided to hitchhike home to see my high school sweetheart. I got a ride with a couple going all the way to New Orleans. What luck.”

Ron says when they stopped to eat he was embarrassed, and told them he had a big breakfast and wasn’t hungry. He had a Coke and bag of chips from a vending machine.

Dropped off in New Orleans, he walked to Airline Highway and, just as it was getting dark, got a ride to Baton Rouge’s Traffic Circle:

“At close to 10 p.m., I called my sweetheart with one of my last nickels, from a service station pay phone, and her father came to pick me up. Those were the days. Young and adventuresome.”

Joel Juneau, of Cottonport, says, “In 1961, I was in the Navy and home on leave when I got a telegram to report back to my ship, the carrier USS Shangri La, in Mayport, Florida., a few miles east of Jacksonville.

“Not having too much money at the time, I tried hitchhiking in uniform from Baton Rouge.

“A very nice man stopped to see where I was headed, and it turned out he was also a sailor, on the USS Saratoga, also docked in Mayport.

“When he got there, our ships had already left for the Caribbean — this was during the Bay of Pigs invasion. I was able to join my ship at sea two days later.”

Organ recital

Ralph Drouin says our discussion of liver reminded him of that popular Paul Simon song from the ’70s: “50 Ways to Love Your Liver.”

Speaking of food

Keith Horcasitas adds another name to our list of great roast beef po-boy joints: Short Stop PoBoys on Transcontinental Drive in Metairie, a block from Airline Highway.

Full of it

William “Eyes” Firesheets tells how his childhood friend “Ear Full” got his nickname:

“We shared the athletic field at Fisher, in Sabine Parish, with cows.

“Around the last of August, when it became dry, cow droppings became flat discs.

“We chose up sides and threw these discs at each other.

“The battle became fierce, and one warrior got a glob upside the head.

“He was picking it out of his ear when laughter erupted. He became known as ‘Ear Full,’ and went into World War II with that identification.

“Some names stick, don’t they?”

(Now, Eyes, tell us about YOUR nickname … I’m sure there’s a story there, too.)

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.